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 Doran Grant is moved to safety

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PostSubject: Doran Grant is moved to safety   Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:47 pm

Pittsburgh Steelers no doubt appreciate Grant's physical style of play


Second-year DB says he's ready for challenge of new position

It’s been rumored since his rookie season, and on a rainy, Sunday walk-through practice that was moved to the gym at St. Vincent College, Doran Grant played his first reps at safety in the Pittsburgh Steelers defense.

The extent of Grant’s transition to safety remains to be seen, and the defensive back isn't giving any hints, but his ability to tackle and play the run at a high level should be a huge help to him moving forward.

“This is definitely something new to me, but I don’t think it will be a problem,” said Grant. “Mike Mitchell and other guys were out there giving me pointers, telling me to read certain things from guys at the line of scrimmage. You can see a lot more in front of you at safety.”

Grant, a cornerback, has never played safety before but welcomes the challenge of learning a new position in order to enhance his versatility and chances of making the 53-man roster.

While Steelers fans were undoubtedly disappointed that the normal outdoor practice was canceled, Grant saw the schedule change as a chance for him to ease into the new spot.

“It’s still football,” Grant said. “Plus walk-throughs are always good. They teach you attention to detail and get you to understand exactly what you need to do.”

Mitchell and Jacob Hagen talked to him during much of Sunday’s walk-through, explaining how to fill against the run, which shoulder to use to take on blocks, and how to read through his run/pass keys efficiently.

The second-year defender had a rough start to camp but has improved as the month has gone on. He intercepted a poor pass from Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown Friday in the preseason opener. Grant also led the team in tackles with seven, a strength of his that defensive backs coach Carnell Lake had previously noted.


- Obviously very little could be gleaned from an indoor, unpadded, walk-through practice. Anthony Chickillo (ankle), Jerald Hawkins (shoulder) and Marcus Gilbert were non-participants today. Mike Tomlin said after practice that Hawkins’ injury would be evaluated soon. Matt Feiler and Chris Hubbard took reps at the tackle spots.

- One of the most improved areas of this team in 2016 will be its defensive line depth. L.T. Walton, Ricardo Mathews and Javon Hargrave are all significant upgrades as pass-rushers in comparison to Cam Thomas or even Daniel McCullers, and all three offer more range and athleticism against the run as well. The trio stood out repeatedly during Friday’s game, helping the Steelers get pressure in the Lions’ backfield early and often.

- One of the more disappointing positions to watch against Detroit was the Steelers’ offensive tackle group. Alejandro Villanueva allowed a sack early, and Ryan Harris continued to show poor body control and a significant lack of athleticism in his movements at left tackle. Hubbard’s versatility is appreciated, but he is an emergency-only offensive tackle, and if he has to jump into a game on Ben Roethlisberger’s blindside, the quarterback had better keep his head on a swivel. We'll monitor his development. Hawkins did some good things, although the shoulder injury is troubling.

- Dustin Vaughan wasn’t great Friday, but he also wasn’t given much help. The bigger story may be Bruce Gradkowski leaving the game with a hamstring injury, yet another sign that the 11-year veteran’s body may not be suited for the rigors of the NFL anymore. If the 33-year-old continues to struggle to stay healthy, Vaughan may win the No. 3 job, regardless of how he performs in the preseason.

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PostSubject: Re: Doran Grant is moved to safety   Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:51 pm

Lets hope Gay & Cockrell stay healthy, after them...yikes.
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PostSubject: Re: Doran Grant is moved to safety   Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:11 am

What's the deal with Burns? I'd like to see what he's got.
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PostSubject: Re: Doran Grant is moved to safety   Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:59 am

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PostSubject: Re: Doran Grant is moved to safety   Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:36 pm

Not exactly what the thought is, unless they think Davis can play more CB than S. I thought Grant looked good vs the Lions. Kept everything in front of him and tackled anybody his way.

I remember somebody like Charles Davis saying..."if you have a big CB that can tackle, they are always safety prospects". Grant at 200 Lbs has a strong frame and he showed he is a solid tackler.
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PostSubject: Re: Doran Grant is moved to safety   Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:17 pm

James C Wexell ‏@jimwexell

Doran Grant working with the safeties again today. Perhaps coinciding with return of Artie Burns to practice.

Grant was on second team at safety with Sean Davis during Seven Shots.

In team scrimmage, Grant third team alongside Ray Vinopal at both safety spots. Very unsure of self.


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PostSubject: Re: Doran Grant is moved to safety   Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:56 pm

Guest: What were your impressions of doran grant friday & thru camp? and do you think he can be a solid contributor in the secondary this year?

Ray Fittipaldo: Grant did a nice job with the INT return for the TD. He had some other good plays and some other bad plays. I don't necessarily think it's a good sign for him that the coaches are also giving him reps at safety. If they had high hopes for him at CB they'd play him there because we all know how desperate they are for help there. Grant is in a fight for a roster spot once again. I don't know if they'd cut Shamarko Thomas to keep him, but that seems like a possibility now that they're trying him at safety. Or maybe he goes to the practice squad again and makes the transition to safety full-time in-season.


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PostSubject: Re: Doran Grant is moved to safety   Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:19 pm

if Shamarko wasn't figured it out by now it might be time to move on to Grant.

Pigs rule, Dogs enforce, Sheep abide.
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PostSubject: Re: Doran Grant is moved to safety   Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:35 am

I was listening to the Tunch and Wolf Show replay this morning. Tunch was very impressed with Shamrko this camp. He thinks this is the year the lightbulb has finally gone on.
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PostSubject: Re: Doran Grant is moved to safety   Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:27 pm

I was hoped to be proven wrong on grant ...seems like i wasn't
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PostSubject: Re: Doran Grant is moved to safety   Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:39 pm

All of this Grant/safety talk is just the usual versatility they are looking for. I personally think it's a dress audition to see if they should bring Will Allen back.

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